Bhujangasana, widely known as Cobra Pose, is a curved pose backwards. The Sanskrit name Bhujangasana is derived from two words. “Bhujanga” means “snake” and “asana” means posture. The final position of Bhujangasana looks like a cobra with the hood raised and so the name. It is an excellent pose to strengthen the spine as well as many other benefits such as relief of constipation, appetite stimulation and abdominal massage. But let’s start with the steps to practice Bhujangasana.
The steps to practice Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Lie on your stomach with your legs straight, your feet together, your heels touching slightly, and your toes pointing.
- Rest the palm of your hands on the side of your chest, your arms should be close to your body, elbows directed outwards.
- Rest your forehead on the ground and relax your body.
- Inhale and lift your forehead, your neck and then your shoulders. Using your back muscles, lift your chest, now use the strength of your arms to lift your trunk. Look normally up. This is the final position.
- In the final position, your belly button should not rise more than 3 cm; with your pubic bones touching the floor. Hold this position for 20-25 seconds.
- To return to the starting position, exhale first and then slowly lower your belly button, chest, shoulders, neck and forehead. Relax and take deep breaths.
Practice this asana 3 to 5 times. Practicing before or after a forward bending pose such as Paschimottanasana (seated bending) will give you maximum benefit. With regular practice, you can straighten your arms, further arching the spine.
Precautions for Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Arches your spine as much as you can, but do not exert force. Some people are naturally flexible while others are not, and many of us have very stiff muscles. Never rush! Give your body the time it needs to gain strength and flexibility.
- Take very little support from your arms, use your back muscles to maintain the weight of the upper body in the posture, so your spine will become stronger.
- Your feet could lift up a bit of the floor without wanting to, try to hold them back.
- Practice this asana under the supervision of an instructor if you have any of these conditions: hyperthyroidism, hernia, peptic ulcer or intestinal tuberculosis.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) Benefits
- Being the 7th Suryanamaskar posture, it has several advantages such as:
- Strengthens the spine, keeps it strong, healthy and flexible.
- Stretch your neck, shoulders, chest, lungs and abdomen.
- Improves the functioning of abdominal organs such as kidneys and liver.
- Beneficial in menstrual and other disorders of the female reproductive system.
- Useful for people with back pain, slipped disc, sciatica and cervical spondylitis.
Stay healthy, stay strong and get the best out of life.